Igniting the Start of Youth Leadership
The 21st Century Leaders (21CL) program has been empowering 7th grade students (aged 12-13) with the skills necessary to become “change agents” in their communities. The Community House has supported the 21CL program for the past twenty years and has been a catalyst of the many culturally and economically diverse graduates in their leadership endeavors. Each year, 40-45 graduates representing 25 public and private schools throughout the Woodward Corridor Communities – from Detroit to Pontiac – enter their high school years as active leaders in their schools and communities.
21st CENTURY LEADERS FRAMEWORK & STATEMENT OF NEED
21CL’s guiding framework is community youth development through empowerment. The Community House views 21CL Leaders as a resource for positive development and impact in the community and beyond.
7th Grade students, aged 12-13, are developing a sense of self and personal identity – the development of ego identity during which they experiment with behaviors, their roles in society, and appearance and self-image. It is important for our youth to receive the appropriate encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration and confidence-building exercises to emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self and feelings of independence and control. With the skills learned in 21CL, student-leaders will be better prepared to face the challenges of the later teen years and their place in the world.
21CL encompasses building knowledge and skills around three units:
- Research & Action
Students will learn:
- Communication and interpersonal skills,
- Critical thinking and reflective analysis,
- Skills that support positive involvement in the community, and
- Positive attitudes and beliefs about their capacity to contribute and make a difference.
Sessions will focus on fostering skills necessary for success in the modern world and will learn about and practice them at session workshops which include:
- Who Am I? – Learning about ourselves through personality and communication style evaluations
- Communicating Confidence
- Digital and Business Etiquette
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
- Bully Busters & Self-Defense
- Time & Stress Management
- Financial Literacy
- Product and Idea Development & Entrepreneurship
21CL is 100% underwritten by The Community House through its generous donors. There is no program cost for nominated students and families. Students must be nominated by School Administration Staff, as delegated by Principals or Headmasters and must have demonstrated leadership capability and potential per the discretion of the schools and their mission statement and standards. Nominated students must also be able to commit to all the program requirements in order to participate in 21CL.
Lauren Vidak, Assistant Director, Programs & Enrichment